For about a year, I was under the impression that Alfonso of Naples was what The Borgias producers had in mind for Lucrezia's second husband. I watched them build him as a character, I imagined how his pairing with Lucrezia worked and I eagerly anticipated season 2 and all of that happening. Episode 1 disappointed me fiercely but I accepted it.
Then, yesterday, I read the most wonderful fic in the Universe – She Lied About Death by Snappleducated and it was so much in tune with what I was waiting that I read it five times. In a desperate need to create more of that, I wrote this. If by any chance that story starts inspiring me and I may use something from it, I apologize in advance for the plagiarism – it is just so good that for me it's almost canon.
I will try to fit Alfonso's on screen character with what I know of Alfonso of Aragon and their marriage, but obviously this will not be canon with history or The Borgias.
Please don't sue, I don't own the stories that inspire me, whether fanfiction or series.
She had heard many stories about him, but none truly described him properly, she thought. He had a fierce reputation – had infested his own city with plague, dined frequently in a hall filled with corpses and tortured more people than many could count. Juan had said he was "odd", without saying much of it. The Pope just mentioned that he would make a good husband, comes from an extremely good family, is connected with pretty much every monarch in Europe and it is just such a great opportunity that they can't miss it.
She had stomped, cried, shouted, protested, and even refused to eat for a few days. Nothing worked. She was to be used as a pawn again in her father's political alliances, married off to some brute who does not give a rat's behind about anyone, just because he has "good connections". She refused to see him the day he arrived in Rome and a few days after that. But in the end even her mother, who had stood by her through all that, said that at that point – with the wedding planned and all – there was not much any of them could do anymore.
The first time she saw him, he was in the palace gardens, eating an apple and talking to Sancia. She understood from the first second what Juan found odd about him: the way he ate his apple, loudly, exaggeratedly chewing on the slices; the way he talked to his sister, even louder, with his mouth full, laughing a shrieking laugh without having finished eating. He looked like a spoilt child who did his best to annoy everyone around him, knowing full well that no-one would ever do anything about it.
But then Sancia left and he remained alone (or so he thought) and suddenly his chewing was natural, his face was serious and he quietly sat down on a bench, looking completely normal. Her curiosity was now piqued and she couldn't stop looking at him, waiting for a move that wasn't coming. She studied his dark hair, his young face – sitting there like that he almost looked… handsome.
Ten minutes later, his boyish voice broke the silence.
"Whatever you're looking for, the answer will not come unless you ask the question."
She was so startled at first that she didn't realize that he was talking to her until suddenly her eyes were staring in her direction and his expression became one of mockery.
She felt embarrassed for being caught, despite being pretty well hidden in the shadow of a shrub. She threw him an annoyed look, came out of her hiding and, without saying a word, headed for the door, trying to look as dignified as possible.
"This doesn't make for a good premise for our conjugal bliss, Signorina Lucrezia. Communication is the key to a good matrimony – or so my older and wiser councilors kept on telling me on the way here."
She felt herself blushing violently.
"I apologize for disturbing your solitude, Signor Alfonso. I promise that during our union, I will attempt to keep out of the way."
"Considering I just complained about lack of communication, I am not sure that would be the best approach." His expression became exaggeratedly pensive, a hand under his chin and a lifted brow emphasizing it. "But then again, you have more experience than me in such matters; I suppose I should bow to your knowledge."
How ungallant of him to talk about her previous marriage!
"I do not claim to be knowledgeable of anything, milord. I am merely a poor woman. If you wish me to communicate with you, I will of course obey you." She was pretty sure her tight smile gave way to her annoyance and his amused smile was not really helping her good mood.
"I am sure you will make a perfectly obedient wife, Signorina. Ever since I arrived here everyone sings your praises. I have been dying of curiosity to meet the most beautiful woman of Christendom."
"I am happy to satisfy your curiosity, Signor" Lucrezia bowed while biting the inside of her lips. "I only aim to please."
Alfonso chuckled loudly and bowed back.
"I am happy to inform you Signorina that I am more than pleased and I expect to remain so for the duration of our marriage."
Afraid that one of the millions of sarcastic retorts flying through her head might actually come out, she gave another tight smile and left.
The most annoying part was that as soon as she entered the building she felt a genuine smile making its way.
She refused to see him until the wedding.
On the wedding day she presented herself at the church, walked down the aisle and mumbled her vows, so that everyone can see that she was not pleased. Alfonso, in contrast, shouted his vows loudly and over-enthusiastically for the whole church to see and planted a noisy and sloppy kiss on her lips at the end. It went even worse at the after-party where he told the servants to keep the wine coming (she stopped counting at the third bottle), burped loudly at the end and then laughed even louder.
He invited her to dance and she tried hard to play the part of a dignified wife, dancing with elegance while he was enthusiastically jumping up and down, sometimes getting too close, and other times going too far for her to complete the dance.
By the time she reached the chamber where they were to spend the wedding night, Lucrezia was not in the mood to play demure, obedient wife. She sat down on the bed, huffing, while he entered just as loudly as he had been all evening.
"My precious, enchanting wife! What a lovely sight, your golden locks, your beautiful eyes, your tempting lips! How I shall ever keep away from the marriage bed, I do not know."
She felt annoyed at the fact that a large part of her was amused by him.
"My darling husband, I am immensely happy that I please you. I live for nothing else in this world."
He couldn't have missed the sarcasm in her voice.
"Well, in that case, ours will be a happy marriage indeed, Signora. I must remember to thank the Lord for blessing me with such a wife. I am sure your father will know to advise me on how to do that."
Lucrezia could not think of anything to add to that. Alfonso looked at her for a second and then sat down on the bed.
"Now, my dear wife, I must admit to being slightly anxious about this night. For, as you are my first wife and, I hear, I am to be your first real husband, I am afraid neither of us will quite know what to do."
There was a playful glint in his eyes and she knew for certain that he was aware that her marriage to Giovanni Sforza had been real enough. She also was pretty sure that Giovanni was not a secret to him – despite the fact that he was being well hidden in the Pope's palace.
"I am sure we will manage, milord. With a happy marriage such as ours, God will lead the way."
He broke into an infectious laughter and, for the first time she actually felt that he was genuinely entertained by her words. She herself felt flattered by that and could not help the equally genuine smile from appearing on her face.
And then his lips were on hers and she stopped thinking. A rushed process followed where clothes were discarded and hands roamed around their bodies in a frenzy that could not be stopped. Her last conscious thought was the surprise of realizing she actually enjoyed his passion – so different from Giovanni Sforza's violence or Paolo's patience. Alfonso was in bed as loud and as frantic as he was in the ballroom, but in this case it had a considerably better effect. And despite his rush, he somehow managed in the process to touch all the right spots, and lift her up there with him.
"My darling wife, considering your relation to God, I don't know why I ever doubted this." Alfonso said, panting, and his smirk was back in place.
He was back to being a loud spoiled child, but for the first time Lucrezia admitted to herself that he wasn't really that bad.